Dear friends and neighbors, 

Our team has been working nonstop on behalf of our communities, and I’m so excited to share our progress with you since my last update.

Bill hearings and introductions 

Several of my bills have had hearings, including: 

  • SB 5342 concerning transit agencies’ ability to enter interlocal agreements for procurement. It will provide clarity to reflect that public transportation agencies are not required to execute interlocal agreements when purchasing buses from another state’s cooperative schedule contract. 
  • SB 5378 concerning voter education. It would require all jurisdictions that use an alternative voting method — like approval voting and rank-choice voting — create a public outreach campaign to inform voters of changes. 
  • SB 5426 implementing the Family Connections Program. It will make sure the program remains in place. The FCP is designed to strengthen families and prevent future childhood traumas by facilitating communication, where appropriate, between foster families and birth families when a child is dependent and in out-of-home care. 
  • SB 5480 accelerating stability for people with a work-limiting disability or incapacity. It will align Washington state policies and practices across benefits programs, enabling us to not only reduce poverty but increase food security and housing stability for the Washingtonians who need them most. 
  • SB 5506 establishing an enhanced behavior support homes model. It would establish the Enhanced Behavior Support Homes Program, designed to provide enhanced behavioral services and help to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities who require more support, staffing and supervision in a community setting rather than in an institution. 

I’m happy to report both SBs 5480 and 5342 have made it out of committee too! 

This week, I also dropped: 

  • SB 5683concerning child-specific foster care licenses for placement of Indian children. This will increase licensing accessibility for Tribal communities to further protect Indian Child Welfare in Washington — a cause near to my heart. It’ll be heard in Senate Human Resources next Thursday, Feb. 9. 

In the news 

I was honored to share some of my story and discuss the importance of Native representation in the Washington State Legislature on KING 5’s Facing Race. 

In 2023, we tripled the number of Native lawmakers. I’m so thankful to serve alongside Reps. Lekanoff and Stearns. While we know there is more to do to ensure parity, this is something to celebrate — representation matters. Watch the segment here. 

Testify in committee 

Remember, your voice is integral in the lawmaking process and helps guide us to shape better policy. Remote public testimony will continue to be offered — along with the return of in-person testimony for all committees — providing every Washingtonian the chance to participate no matter where they live. You can register for in-person and remote testimony here.

Contact us 

I’d love to hear from you and look forward to learning more about your priorities for the upcoming year. Send me an email at, or give me a call at 360-786-7692. You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram (@SenClaudiaKauffman) for regular updates throughout the coming months.